It’s Time to Ask the Question: Why Should the U.S. Defend Japan?

  President Donal Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Defense Secretary James Mattis have all visited Tokyo to reassure Japan of America’s support as China and North Korea turn up the pressure.   Officials of both nations claim to be in lockstep—continuing the tradition of U.S. officials describing the U.S.-Japan relationship as “the most important […]

Has Prime Minister Abe Fallen into North Korea’s Olympic Propaganda Trap?

  If the organizers of the Winter Olympic Games awarded medals for cheerleading or propaganda, North Korea would have walked away with double gold.       The champion attention-grabbers were the 200 North Korean women who performed synchronized cheers throughout events which involved athletes from their country playing alongside people from the host nation, […]

Don’t Let North Korea Steal Olympics Spotlight from the Athletes

    An Olympics story has been told, over the decades, of a certain live radio broadcast from the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Japanese athlete Hideko Maehata and German Martha Genenger fought a ferocious battle in the finals of the women’s 200-meter breaststroke. The announcer of Japanese public broadcasting NHK repeated this call 24 times: “Go, […]

The Dangers of Entering Into ‘Dialogue-Mode’ Over North Korea

North Korean beauties have arrived at the PyeongChang Olympic venue on February 7.   Will the situation play out as thought by North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un? Whether it follows predictions or not, the Moon Jae-in administration is set to welcome North Korea’s participation during the PyeongChang Olympic Games with open arms, despite domestic opposition and concerns […]

Where Japan Stands in US-Korean Talks: An Interview with Heritage Foundation Experts

North Korean Mangyongbong-92 carrying a 140-strong orchestra approaches to a port in Donghae, South Korea, February 6, 2018.   REUTERS   On February 5, the Sankei Shimbun and JAPAN Forward interviewed two representatives of The Heritage Foundation, a respected Washington DC-based conservative think tank, while they visited Tokyo. Terry Miller is the foundation’s director, Center for […]

Which Country’s Interests Does Nikai’s Pro-China Diplomacy Serve?

    As a foreign correspondent for most of the several decades of my journalism career, following trends in the Japan-United States-China trilateral relationship has been instructive in virtually every post.   One of the interesting observations I have made is that whenever the US-China relationship deteriorates, and the Japan-US alliance becomes stronger, one particular […]

History Wars: China Ignores Facts to Weaponize the Past

  Late last year, according to multiple sources, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited the ambassadors of at least 16 countries to a December 13th ceremony at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.   “The nation’s chairman is expected to attend,” the invitation read, “so those ambassadors attending the memorial ceremony may afterwards be able […]

Testing the United States: China and the Senkakus

  Despite the brief hiatus in tensions between Japan and China over the Senkakus—islands historically owned and administered by Japan but in recent decades claimed by China—the issue is flaring up again. Two Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ships, including a submarine, entered the contiguous waters next to the islands and another island group in […]